Ah, weekends. How those days do beckon. To me there are three kinds of weekend people. The practical ones who actually relax, the determined-to-get-away (and have fun!)-even-if-it-means-I’ll-be-exhausted-at-the-end-of-it ones and the bury the head in the sand types who spend their days at their desks happy that the phone isn’t ringing as much and they can finally get some work done. Now practical people recognize that you need at least three days for a proper weekend. A day to wind down and get some things accomplished, a day to relax and a day to wind back up and get ready for the week ahead. But how many of us actually find the balance and do this? This past Victoria Day weekend I tried. I gardened, and then I took a nap. I went to a wedding, but then went to bookclub with my girls. I tried a new recipe and cooked dinner for family, but then stayed in my pj’s until noon. Not a bad balance all in all.
What I also did over the long weekend was download about a bazillion photographs and sort through some of my menu and cooking notes. As I was doing that I realized it had been awhile since I did a Cook(those)books recap. So if you need a bit of inspiration here are a couple of the recipes that have been new to my kitchen in the last while.
First up, asparagus. We all know that I’m a big fan of this spring vegetable, if you’ve read my blog before you also know what a huge love affair I am having with the cookbook The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti. So when I was in the bookstore a few weeks ago and saw her book Rustic Italian there was no debate I had to get it. (the only debate was how to sneak it into the house so my husband didn’t realize I’d bought yet another cookbook!). I’ve only just started to delve into it, but it is exactly the kind of food I like. Simple and flavourful. In my search for a new variation for asparagus I came across her recipe for Asparagi al forno con asiago. Oh heck yes. Light and rich all at the same time it added wonderful depth to a simple dinner of barbequed sirlion and garden salad. And, if you’re restrained enough at dinner that you have leftovers, I suggest you bake it into some eggs for breakfast the next day. Heavenly.
Next up was a French Yogurt Cake from the May issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. Baking is always a challenge for me but one of my goals is to find a few go-to recipes so I can stop asking people to bring their own dessert when they come for dinner. It looked fairly simple and I thought I had all the ingredients so I decided to give it a try. Turns out I didn’t actually have the ingredients (a reminder why the rule “read the recipe through before you start” exists). I used vanilla yogurt instead of Greek and olive oil instead of vegetable oil (how am I a house without vegetable oil?). Well, I don’t know what it would taste like with the proper ingredients but it worked for me. My house guests seemed to like it and everyone agreed that it had a nice lemon flavour and wasn’t as greasy as some cakes like that often are.
All in all a couple of keepers. Just the kind of easy recipes to let me enjoy my weekends some more.